Luke 12:25-30 (NRSV)

25 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?   26 If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;  yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 28 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. 30 For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them.   

Luke 9:23-24 (NRSV)

23 Then he said to them all, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it.   

DEVOTION – Mark Harper Anderson (Pennsylvania)

Many times in life I have tormented myself with “What if?” questions, asking,  “Where would I be if only I had made this or that decision?”  Other times I worry about the future:  “What if this happens or what if that happens?”  This habit often leaves me overwhelmed.

However, I’m coming to see that Jesus does not instruct us to live in the future or the past.  We can do very little in this moment about either one.  Jesus allows us to live fully in the present, where eternity and our current moment in time meet.  I think that when Jesus said, “Take up their cross daily,” he meant for us to deal with our present situation, whatever that may be.  He tells us to ask for and seek his guidance, and follow him.  Jesus Christ is eternal, and from eternity he will shed light on the present situation to show us our way.  He may give us only enough clarity and courage to take a single step forward, but it is up to us to “take up” our present situation and take that step.  When we look back, we will see that our whole journey was in Jesus’ light.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Today, I will follow Jesus – a single step at a time.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, please help us to trust in you, that you will guide us through this present time to a glorious eternity.  Amen.